Merritton Development Update #3

Speaking of that stretch of Glendale, gawkers over the past few months have probably noticed signs of life at the old Lybster Mill building. Most notably, Johnny Rocco's Restaurant has been advertising for some time that it will open a bar/eatery on the ground floor this fall. Thank goodness autumn doesn't officially end until Dec. 21.
The Rocco group had targeted a Dec. 1 opening, but that's been delayed.
Assistant manager Kevin Barrett said staff training is scheduled for the week of Dec. 7 in preparation for the new restaurant start date of Dec. 14.

Plans call for a licensed capacity of 450, of which 120 will be for an outdoor patio slated to open next spring.
Staying in Merritton and keeping with the alcohol-soaked theme of this column, the future of the old Union House/Hallett's Coach House keeps getting murkier.

Last month, I noted real estate investment firm VL Futures was the latest owner to give up on the 134-year-old watering hole, which has been closed for more than three years.
VL, which assumed ownership in 2008, recently put the property on the market, with an initial asking price of $399,000.

Unloading the Merritt Street building may be the least of VL's problems, though.
A story this month in the Prince Albert (Sask.) Daily Herald reported that foreclosure proceedings are about to begin on a VL-owned historical building in downtown Prince Albert that was refurbished for residential use. As of September, more than $591,000 construction liens were also registered against the building.
In light of this, I called Jeff Parissi, the real estate agent named on the Union House's For Sale sign to see whether VL was still involved with the Merritton property.
"It's a little bit complicated right now," said Parissi, "and I'd rather not comment one way or the other."
Following complaints received by the city over garbage and a plumbing backup at Hallett's, a property management firm, MFS Realty Services Ltd., was hired recently to take care of the problems.
Asked who did the hiring, a MFS spokesman declined comment, citing privacy concerns.

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